State of New Media 2011 Trend #10: “Pay-to-play” games of skills and chance begin to go digital. Internet gaming is of course nothing new. Online video games and especially casual games have really taken off in recent years. They have also progressively moved to smartphones and other mobile devices. But what if users could play online and mobile games by wagering money to win money? Many companies are seeing big dollar signs in the future from “pay-to-play” games of skill and chance placed onto digital platforms.
Games of Skills and Chance Begin to Go Digital
Internet gaming is of course nothing new. Online video games and especially casual games have really taken off in recent years. They have also progressively moved to smartphones and other mobile devices. But what if users could play online and mobile games by wagering money to win money? Many companies are seeing big dollar signs in the future from “pay-to-play” games of skill and chance placed onto digital platforms.
State of New Media 2011 Trend #9: User-created animation tools get real.
For years, amateur filmmakers have used film and video cameras to make their own amateur motion pictures. In today’s digital age, they create videos for YouTube and other online portals. What has been more difficult is amateur creation of animated films – given how time-consuming the animation process can be. But digital technology now provides tools for users to easily create their own (albeit more limited) forms of animated film.
State of New Media 2011 Trend #8: Image-driven social networks come into focus.
Online social networks have been great vehicles for Internet users to share information about themselves. But what we really like are pictures (and videos). For 2011, a new trend will be increased focus on photographic images on social networks.
State of New Media 2011 Trend #7: Facebook Credits elevate battle for virtual currency domination.
Virtual currency is the “money” used to purchase goods, content and other material (digital and even real) in many online games, apps and worlds. The concept has been around for several years, but there is yet to be a standardized currency useable throughout multiple environments. (Think of the current digital economy as Europe before the Euro was introduced). Facebook is trying to change that by pushing out to more digital partners its system of Facebook Credits — which users can acquire to buy virtual goods in many games and apps available on the social media giant’s platform.
State of New Media 2011 Trend #6: Location check-in picks up digital real estate.
In 2010, users embraced the notion of using social media tools to “check-in” and report their location. Using geo-location technology, smartphone apps identify where a user is at any point in time and allows users to report their location to their social network community. In 2011, expect location check-in to gain even more traction.
Location-based social media applications Foursquare and Gowalla really got the ball rolling. Foursquare (which operates more like a game) grew from 500,000 users in March 2010 to 5 million just 9 months later at year’s end.
State of New Media 2011 Trend #5: Group buying continues its rapid growth.
One of the hottest new trends on the Internet is group buying: the concept of offering a discount on products or services if a big enough group of people agree to buy. We’ve had social media; now call this social shopping. The phenomenon is in its relative infancy, beginning in earnest in 2008, but is already taking Internet commerce by storm.
State of New Media 2011 Trend #4: In-game sports experiences go digital.
Fans of sports entertainment have always wanted to feel like they are in the game as much as possible – even if they are watching the game live in-stadium. Digital technology now increases the “in-game” experience – especially if you are stuck in nosebleed seats. What if you could view a sports game from angles you choose for instant replays, get live streaming of a game, receive game-analysis and data, or even find out how long the lines are for concessions or the restrooms in a stadium? All of that can now be possible.
State of New Media 2011 Trend #3: Apps make consumer electronics devices smarter.
Apps are no longer just for our smartphones. What about Smart TVs? Samsung, Vizio, Panasonic, Sony and other electronics manufacturers already have lines of broadband-connected “smart TVs.” They allow users to connect to the Web to stream movies or television programs from NetFlix, Hulu, or other Internet means.
But the bigger new trend has free Web apps pre-loaded or at least available on the TV units. This allows consumers to more easily access social networks (such as Facebook and Twitter), on-demand news (from newspaper web sites like USA Today) and entertainment, use Skype video calling from your television, and other features. In particular, Samsung’s Internet-enabled televisions offer a large array of free apps.
State of New Media 2011 Trend #2: The real time web gets real.
The Internet generation now wants instant gratification – information, news and content on an instantaneous basis. This is now the lightning-fast world of the “real-time web.”
The demand for information as it happens has been fueled by the rise of social media applications like Facebook’s news feed, Twitter’s micro-blogging service, and even Foursquare’s location check-in tool. Recognizing the importance of real-time information, Google has even incorporated real-time listings into its search engine results pages.